Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Several prisoners died under U.S torture

An interview with Abduljabbar al Kubaysi after his release from US custody in Iraq by Kulu al-Arab
Basra, December 28, 2005 IraqSolidaridad (, January 3, 2006

(Translation from the Arabic for IraqSolidaridad by Houmad al-Kadiri Translation from the Spanish for the International Action Center by John Catalinotto)

K al-A: What type of discussions did you have with the interrogators?

A al-K: The interrogations and their procedures were exhausting. The interrogators changed constantly, and the sessions lasted more than 20 hours, time that we always spent with our hands and feet tied, and our eyes bandaged. The interrogator teams were formed by groups of four Americans from the CIA or from other agencies, and were changingconstantly.They requested information from us on the resistance, or about the mosques of Falluja and other concrete questions. Soon the discussions began to be about the occupation itself, and of the money robbed from Iraq. (I said to them on one occasion that they were thieves, and the interrogator answered to me that that was a lie; next I threw in his face that he and his father and his president were all thieves.)In order to justify my imprisonment, the interrogators raised some accusations that never reached the level of charges, because they knew that they were not truthful, and not because I refused to confirm them, because they consisted of accusing me of mobilizing Arab and European forces against the occupation, or that I had had meetings with Saddam Hussein to organize the action of the resistance for after the occupation , or that I was the political coordinator of Islamists, Sadrists and Baathists, in addition to being a political theoretician of the resistance.One of the interrogators presented some of my writings to me as proof that I was a political theoretician of the resistance, texts in which I had raised some points to create the conditions of the expulsion of the occupants. I do not deny that I support the resistance until the expulsion of the last American and Iranian soldier from my country, but on the other hand I do not know who makes up the resistance.I had written in some article that four conditions were necessary to be able to end the occupation: first, to extend geographically the armed activity of the resistance and let it grow so that it becomes a national resistance without religious differences; second, to foment the qualitative actions so as to inflict greater damage to the U.S. forces at the human and material level; third, that Iraq not be isolated from its surroundings either by history or by [regional] geopolitics, and that therefore everything that occurs in Iraq would have its effect in the entire zone; this would lead the governments in the Middle East loyal to the U.S.A. to explain [to the Bush Administration] the risk it would undergo by continuing to occupy Iraq and the consequences of strengthening the Iraqi resistance, in such a way that the U.S.A. will realize that the Zionist entity in Palestine [Israel], which it has protected by waging the war on her behalf, will be in danger; and fourth, that the U.S.A. has lost its credibility. Together this will push U.S. society to reject the occupation and the war in Iraq.Then he asked me: "Why don't you fight against the Iranian occupation?" and I answered him that the Iranian occupation will finish a minute before his [the U.S.] retreat from Iraq, because is a timid occupation that arrived after your U.S. one and will stop existing as soon as the U.S. Army wears down and flees Iraq. It is an occupation covered by the helmet the U.S. soldier and sustained in the Iranian secret services and organizations and institutions controlled by these services, that receive tens of millions of dollars .And he answered me: "Then, a civil war can explode." I said to him: "Leave and let us kill each other. In Iraq never we have felt that were Shiites and Sunnis, and have only begun to listen to it when you arrived and you brought in the Iranian government of al-Jaafari and the Iranian parties, and nevertheless all this will finish when you leave my country. You are the enemy now and your expulsion is the only way out that we have and it will be done by means of the resistance." Soon he insulted me and I insulted him, and I said to him that he could do nothing unless he fired a shot in my head.Later another interrogator came from the CIA and he said to me that Iraq was in danger and that the U.S.A. is overwhelmed, and that they respected the analysis that we made of the situation. He even promised me to bring it to Washington.

K al-A:What happens in that center of imprisonment, regarding torture?

A al-K: I have personally not seen people tortured, except for the case of four people: Taha Yasin Ramadan, vice-president of the Republic, whose body I saw covered with blood and he was trying to wash his wounds with water and salt; Jamis Sarhan, a member of the leadership of the Baath Party and a resident of Falluja; Dr Hazem Achaij Arrawi, a scientist with the biological program; and Mohamad Al-Saghir, an official of the secret services. And I am not talking about the usual practice of blindfolding eyes and tying hands behind the back of the prisoners and then tying them to the feet during days put in a wooden cave within another small and dark hole. No, I do not talk about these practices, which we all experienced during days of interrogations and that I personally also have suffered.It is necessary to also indicate that when we would eat they would neither untie our hands, nor would they remove the blindfolds; only instead of tying us the hands behind our backs they tied them in front, and we had to strike out blindly to be able to eat. The dinner lasted 10 minutes and later our hands were retied behind our backs.

K al-A.: Do you know who has succumbed to the torture?

A al-K: Yes, there are several people who died under the torture, among them Adel Al-Duri, who was more than 60 years old and who was member of the leadership of the Baath Party; Hamza Zubaidi, ex- prime minister, who was more than 70 years of age; and Waddah Achaij, a secret duty officer, who was about 58 years old.

K al-A: How many high-level prisoners were in this jail?

A al-K: There are 103 prisoners, in addition to members of the resistance that were isolated in a separate pavilion, as I was during the first six months. [This group] reached a count of about 17 men and nine women.When I was released, they remained isolated and we do not know anything of what was done to them.

K al-A: Aside from the torture, there were also attempts to bribe the prisoners. Did you experience that also?

A al-K: Of course. They offered me money and positions in the [new] government. Even more, they said to me: "You can criticize us, but give your approval to participation in the political process and the elections [of Dec. 15] of 2005." I rejected the offer. For that reason they said to me that I was not going to be set free until once they had carried out the elections, and that's what happened.I also said to them that I am in favor of the resistance and that if it took 30 years I would struggle against you, and one of its generals answered me: "Form two battalions and fight against us, but you do not write against us." I said to them: "I am not a military man and I am more than 60 years old, so the only thing that I can do is to write. And it is what I will continue doing."

K al-A: What is it that bothers the prisoners most?

A al-K: The feeding: the prisoners undergo an unimaginable hunger. They serve us a spoon of rice for each prisoner and between 20 and 30 grains of corn, in addition to a piece of meat. And I am not exaggerating. When they changed the menu they gave three spoonfuls us macaroni. It has been one of the preoccupations of the prisoners, which is reflected in their letters directed to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

(This interview first appeared on

1 comment:

William said...

The trouble with this sort of story is that it cannot easilly be substantiated. The history of brutality on all sides is astonishing. Two wrongs don't make a right but: Insurgents have committed acts of such barbarity as to be nearly incomprehensible. And in Saddam's Iraq prisoners dissapeared and were tortured ad infinitum.